February 11, 2015

8 Tips for Maintaining Vivid Dyed Red Hair (When You Have an Oily Scalp)

If you're part of the dyed redhead club you're probably all too familiar with the fading and maintenance that comes along with our bright hair color of choice. Whenever I see tips about keeping the color vivid, the main one is always to avoid washing your hair for days on end. That's fine and dandy if you have normal to dry hair, but those of us on the oilier end start looking like we massaged our scalps in bacon fat by day 3. (Or is that just me?) So here are the ways I keep my hair as red as possible while still having to wash it often. By the way, these can also apply to anybody who dyes their hair a bright shade that isn't red!

1. Wash your hair every other day.
I know I just complained about this always being the main tip for maintaining the brightness of red hair, but it's just fact that washing strips the color. I find that if I keep skipping a day between washing, the non-washed day stays tolerably un-greasy. BUT if I'm consistently washing it each day, then that second day will be too greasy. This is because the scalp produces more sebum to compensate for washing it away every day. Each person's maximum amount of skip days differs. There's no way I could ever skip 4 days like some other women can. The every other day method works best for me. It at least cuts down on washing by half which means half the fading!

2. Use shampoo meant for color treated hair.
I use professional shampoos and conditioners because my mom is a hairdresser but you can find cheaper options. Pick something for red hair if you can find it. Right now I'm using Bed Head's Colour Goddess Shampoo. It's sulfate free which is supposed to be gentler, though I can't back that up with science. Just pick a shampoo meant for your hair type! Splurge on the $10 bottle rather than the $5 one because a cheapo clarifying shampoo isn't meant for color treated hair.

3. Concentrate conditioner at the end of your hair and avoid the scalp.
If you're having problems with your scalp getting oily, try conditioning only the ends of your hair. Don't rub it all over your scalp because you don't need the extra moisture there. It'll just weigh your hair down.

(Mmm. Freshly washed hair.)

4. Don't let the hot shower water run over your hair.
This is probably my biggest tip to you. Don't stand with your hair directly under the stream of steaming hot shower water. Hot water opens the hair cuticle and lets the color seep out more easily. When I lived in the dorms in college the showers had particularly high water pressure and you could see the spot where the stream hit my head and stripped my hair color. Not good. "But Jamie," you say, "how do I shower without enjoying the delight of indoor plumbing raining heat down upon my cold wet body?" Here's what I do! I get in, wet and shampoo my hair, throw conditioner on, and then get just my head out of the stream. It's not as hard as it seems. Once you're done with all your other shower activities, rinse the conditioner out. Boom.

5. Use dry shampoo on non-washing days. 
If I'm starting to look like the unwashed, I spray dry shampoo all over my roots. I concentrate on my bangs, the fine hair near my ears, and where I part my hair. Spray, leave it a few minutes to soak up all that "sexiness," and brush it out.

Bonus tip: using hair spray can make your hair less visibly oily the next day. The alcohol dries out your hair a little which conveniently means your hair looks less greasy. At least, this is the result I find with my own hair.

6. Try a boar bristle brush to help distribute the scalp oil through the rest of your hair.
I use the Wet Brush brand Shine Brush which combines boar bristles with the regular nubby type. It's extra effective at brushing dry shampoo through the hair too.

7. If you have bangs, push them back with a headband when you sleep.
This is huge if I want to skip washing my hair the next day. If my bangs sit on my forehead all night they'll definitely be too greasy to look presentable. They soak up the concoction of lotions I use to moisturize my dry face and maintain my youthful essence.  I just use a soft headband to get them out of the way.

Another bonus tip: if you wake up and your bangs look like crap but the rest of your hair is decent, stick just your bangs in the sink/shower and give them a good wash. It's amazing how clean bangs can make the rest of your hair look clean.

8. Wear a hat.
Hats cover any noticeably oily roots on the day you don't wash your hair. If you're out on a sunny day it'll protect your wonderfully bright hair from UV damage which can fade the color too. They can also be incredibly stylish!

The sad reality is, no matter what you do to keep your hair vibrant, it will fade. Darker reds will fade more nicely than coppery ginger reds. (Believe me. I've had many shades of red.) My hair grows so fast it usually needs to be dyed because of roots before the fading is a huge issue though.

I hope some of these tips will help my fellow brightly dyed hair people. I think some could be helpful for anybody who has oily second day hair too. Do you do any of these things to keep your hair color vivid? Do you experience what I like to call "grease head" by day 3 too? Let me know your tips for keeping your hair bright and not grossly greasy!

(Edit: I had a question about what color I use. My hair is professionally dyed and right now we're using Matrix Socolor HD Red in RR. You'd have to get separate developer and all the right tools since it's a professional product and not box dye.
Remember throwing on the same dye as someone else won't necessarily make your hair the same color. It depends on the natural level of your hair, if you have it dyed already, hair texture, etc. My advice: Please do a little research about hair dye before sticking it on your head. Better yet, let a professional do it.)


CiCi said...

Back in the day, I constantly dyed my hair as red as yours is now and I wish I'd known about some of these tips! I would never have dreamed of not washing my hair every day as it's incredibly greasy left to its own devices, but your tip about wearing a headband to keep your fringe out of your face... Why on earth didn't I think of that?! I'm going to use that in life generally when I know I'm not going to wash my hair the next day now. Genius! CC x

Cat said...

What dye do you use to color your hair?

ritzz said...

your hair is so beautiful. and love the color! nice tips!

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nancy @ adore to adorn said...

these are great tips. I remember when I was dying my hair, I was really hung up over the "maintenance." I didn't want the color I just paid to have put on my hair to fade too fast!


~ K said...

I have terribly greasy hair and I limit my washing to every other day, unless I really want newly washed hair. I just kind of dealt with the fact that I need to wash my hair more than once or twice a week and I just buy more hair dye.

I buy dyes in a much darker shade than I need to stretch the money as far as possible, but it's not a cheap hobby at times.

I'm kind of lazy with my hair colour sometimes... but I always make sure to top it up when I'm doing something special haha

Vicki said...

awesome awesome hair!! love the colour suits u so well :) x

Crissy said...

I love red hair so much! It's so much easier to keep unwashed hair nice in the cooler months.

My hair used to be super oily until I gave up shampoo completely. It got worse then my scalp adjusted within a month. No more oil and yucky bangs lol Have you tried no shampoo?

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